Deuteronomy 4:35

You have been shown these things that you might know the Lord is God besides him there is no other.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 the Small Things

These Easter egg glasses were calling to me 
from the Target dollar bin the other night.
(Yes..indeedy our girl went to Target the other night!)
Boy does she LOVE them.
They bring her hours of JOY!
 She loves to wear them herself..
but there is nothing like sporting twin looks 
with a special man in your life.
We are so blessed to be the ones 
called to parent this little treasure.
How silly and crazy it has made us.
Because you see, we would do anything for her.
Just to see that smile..we would do it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Our Sweet Anna Mei..An Update!

I stumbled upon a momma online who was headed to Xuchang SWI yesterday.  I contacted her and asked her to find my baby girl.  I didn't even have to beg her as she was more than willing.  Alison found her and loved on her for me.  She told me that her crib was on the end of a long row of cribs and that Anna Mei was very hesitant to give her any eye contact.  Anna did let her hold her and kiss her on the cheek.  She also took several pictures of her for us.  The Internet is terribly slow in Henan, but she sent one to me.  Anna was dressed in boy's clothing which is not at all unusual for an orphanage.  There are so many to dress that they don't take time to be gender specific.  It looks like they may be letting her hair grow out.  (How I hope so!)  Anna is also wearing a hat which opens up a whole new fashion possibility for this momma to consider.  GOODY!!  I can see my Jillian in Anna's eyes today and I am desperate to get to her.  It sounds like we may have a long hard road again as far as attachment goes, but I am ready.  I want her home.  These next five weeks can't go fast enough.
I just keep staring at her and thinking..She is beautiful! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Snow Fun

 I could get pictures of this cuteness all day!
It has been warmer this week so we have been able to get out and enjoy the snow.
 She has some serious tactile defensiveness issues.
Can you see how her hands are always in fists?
She will not touch the snow.
 She also will not wear her gloves, but it doesn't keep her from playing up a storm.
It is super cute when she takes a tumble.
She struggles like a bug stuck on their back because she will not use her hands to help herself up.
Using her hands would require touching snow after all.
 She loves examining the flower garden with the bushes, plants, and flowers in their winter glory.
 We even gave the sled a try.
It wasn't her favorite, but she tolerated it.
 What she loves best is walking over the uneven ground and climbing the big piles of snow.
 She gets great proprioceptive input walking over that snow and it makes her laugh.
She also LOVES the view through fences, grids, and other visually stimulating patterns.
I just LOVE being with her.
I love watching her explore and taking it all in.
Thinking of two being here brings me great JOY and I can't wait to tell you that we are on our way to Anna Mei.  I am hoping to travel in about 5 weeks!  I am praying that God will get us to her ASAP!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Good Bye Dear, Old Friend

Nap time is this Momma's best friend some days.
Until recently, sleep has been one thing my little treasure was very good at.
In fact when she first came home, falling asleep was the only way she could deal with most things.
It was a defense mechanism to sleep off the trauma that was assaulting her little self everywhere she turned.
She doesn't have to do that anymore.
Now sleep is very hard to come by for her.
She has had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep most nights.
It has been a battle to get her to sleep.
(There is much crying, much sensory input requested, and hours of fighting.)
It has also been a battle to get her to stay asleep too.
It seems that after six hours, she is ready to get up and go.

So, we have said goodbye to my BFF the afternoon nap.
I am so sad to see it go as it was my sanity some days.
The good news, she has been falling asleep lightning fast each night by 9:00.
She is exhausted by then and has even slept eight straight hours two nights this week.

We also bought this weighted blanket for her.
 She is a little peanut (still only 30ish pounds), but needs so much pressure that her blanket weighs 5 pounds.
The benefits of a weighted blanket are numerous, but they are usually very expensive so I kept putting off buying her one.  When it first came, she laid and pulled it all the way up to her chin.  She just laid still as could be and let it push on her.  She really likes it and it has seemed to help her some.  I lay it over here as I rock her and it helps her lay still while trying to fall asleep.

Thanks so much to Jessica who runs this fabulous etsy shop and makes weighted blankets for only $55.00.  We couldn't be more pleased with ours.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Wonderful Day

I was blessed last Saturday to spend the day with my biggest girl.
We went to IKEA to get Anna Mei a bed.
I've had my eye on it.
It cost 89.99 without tax.
That isn't too expensive for a bed so we have been saving 
until last week 
we got a donation from some dear friends in the mail.
The card they sent read..I know you have met your fundraising goal, but we wanted to be part of the blessings of bringing Anna Mei home.  
The check was for $100!  Of Course, exactly what we needed to buy Anna's bed.

We also picked up this awesome tunnel for Jillian.
It was only $14.00 and well worth it.
She has been crawling through it like crazy.
I remember the first time she encountered a tunnel like this.
She had just been home a few months.
She had a huge meltdown.
We have come so far.
She LOVES this tunnel.
I can't even put the thing away.
Blessed..just watching this little girl crawling through a tunnel in our family room is reason to believe God can do anything. 
 I have seen it as this treasure is accomplishing so much!  
She is a true miracle!  
Now if we could only get a haircut. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Our I-800 Approval is Here

Yesterday morning, Daddy came in from the mailbox carrying an envelope.
He said, "Is this the letter you are waiting on?"
It has her name on it.
She is listed there..Xu Jia Ren.
It says that we have been given permission to adopt this immigrant as our daughter.
Now we wait for the article 5 to be issued by the US consulate in Guangzhou.
Things are moving along.
Soon, we will hold our Anna Mei in our arms.
I can't wait!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Feeding Therapy..One Year Re-Eval

This morning my treasure had her re-evaluation for feeding therapy.  I am in awe continually of this baby girl.  After only twenty months in our family, she is chewing, using a cup, eating with a spoon, taking so many textures, she has put on 17 pounds, and is so absolutely secure with such a personality.  Taking liquids and putting a cup in her mouth is still a real struggle for her because of her oral defensiveness.  Today in therapy..the therapist suggested introducing her to an open cup with a bit of thinned out applesauce in it.  My baby girl loves her some applesauce and so they thought the familiar flavor might be motivating enough for her to use that open cup.  Now, I have to tell you that this little girl DOES NOT like new things.  It can take months years to get her to put things in her mouth. took four months to get her to allow a spoon in her mouth so that I could get some purees in her, over a year to put a sippy cup to her lips (which she still doesn't drink well out of), and more than fifteen months to allow a toothbrush to those teeth.  It has been a struggle.  Today though if you had been sitting in the room with us, you would have never known that.  It was the first time that Jillian had ever seen this cup, but she saw me put the applesauce in and she was interested.  Our therapist K raised it to her lips, Jillian opened up (THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE ORAL MOTOR ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR HER TOO), and the room went crazy (there were three of us in there) with applause and excitement because of her accomplishment which simply put was using this new blue cup.  After each drink throughout the rest of the session, Jillian then proceeded to clap for herself while staring at the other three of us in the room waiting for the thunderous applause.  She does, after all, deserve all of this praise because she is one little trooper my girl.  She is the bravest, most courageous and amazing little creature that I have ever known and I am one blessed momma to get to witness her accomplishing so much!  How I love her!

We got to bring the blue cup home.  Here she is using it! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Dreamed of Her Today

I walked into the carter's store today.  As I browsed through the peanut sized onesies, held up the little pants with pictures, and touched the soft fabric, I dreamed of Anna Mei.  I saw her at home with us sitting next to her big sisters.  I heard her laughing.  I saw her reaching her arms up for me, sitting with us at the dinner table, and even being hit on the head by her wild, Chinese sister.  I could hardly hold back the tears as these visions were so sweet and I miss her so badly today.  I have let myself cry for her as I have carried on and it is on these days that God's word is like a balm for my soul.  I know that He is with her and I know that in His timing we will have her here with us, but sometimes..sometimes the waiting is just painful.  I rest in knowing that God collects each one of my tears and that He knows the depth of my longing for my daughter to be home in my arms.  He understands and He even means to use this time for good in my life.  Soon. Very Soon. She will be home.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Cracker Barrel and a Prayer Request

Our daddy is on his way to bury his dear aunt who lost her battle with cancer last week.  Please pray for him as he makes this journey and as he will be performing the funeral services too because Aunt Wanda's pastor is stuck in Africa.  This is a huge privilege for him, but I am sure that it will be emotional as well.  Please pray that he will represent her life well and that God will give him the right words to share the hope we have when we live in Him.

With Daddy away, we girls decided to go on a little outing of our own.  We had a gift certificate we received at Christmas for Cracker Barrel.  So, we loaded up our little treasure and decided to give it a try. She has never been to a sit down restaurant successfully before.  Until today, having someone come to our table we didn't know (a server), talking to us, and bringing us food has been way too scary for her.  She would cry and we would have to leave before eating.  It was lunch time on a Saturday so the place was packed.  We had to wait a few minutes to get a table, but Jillian did amazingly well!  She looked at the toys that spin and light up for the few minutes we had to wait.  She was cool as a cucumber.  She walked through the crowded dining room when it was time to go to our table and wasn't even phased by the noise or the people.  She sat at the table, colored a bit, and signed eat macaroni and cheese.  I did bring all her food, like I always do, because she just seems more comfortable if she can sit down and get started eating her familiar foods right away.  I did order her mac and cheese from the kids menu at the restaurant too and when it came..she took her spoon and dug right in to the bowl from Cracker Barrel.  She didn't even wait for it to be put in her familiar tray!!  It was a beautiful lunch! 

I must have been just beaming because there was a woman near by who just couldn't stop smiling at us as we ate.  As we were leaving, she told me what a beautiful family I have and how it just makes her smile to watch us.  I love this picture to the right.  Can you see how Jillian is holding Emily's hand while she eats?  I tell you, my heart is full today.  I love having time with my girls and if Emily hadn't been sitting in the front seat next to me on the way home, I may have bawled the whole way.  God has brought this little one so far.  The love that we have in our hearts because of her is just truly incredible.  I am blessed beyond measure to get to mother these two precious lives and can't believe God is giving me the chance to love one more.  Just another ordinary moment that seems so miraculous because of the addition of this little Chinese treasure in our lives.  I have been worshiping my Lord all day because of the beauty of it.  I praise Him for giving her to us and am in awe that we get to have one more!  Emily and I were even planning how we would sit at a table in a restaurant when we are a family of five.  Simply too good!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Every Girl Deserves A Daddy Who Will..

do anything for her.
Our Daddy is just that kind of man
even if it means sitting in a baby pool full of feathers
wearing plastic purple glasses
while your daughter shoves pink feathers near your nose.

Seriously, this man is the BEST!
I LOVE how he loves our girls.

Just last week, we had to take Jillian to the doctor.
She HATES the doctor.
The doctor sends her into a panic.
Daddy sat on the doctor's stool
spinning our sweet treasure around and around on his lap
while I sang "The Wheels on the Bus"
at the top of my lungs.
It kept her calm
even made her laugh.
(It made Daddy feel sick to his stomach.)
Who would do that, but our Daddy?
We are blessed to have him for sure.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Could you be that one?

There are so few things that really break me.
This picture shatters me into a million pieces.
My daughters laid here.
Day in and day out they laid here.
But my babies had someone come for them.
Why can't they all have someone coming for them?
Why did I spend so many years with my heart hardened to them?
What have I missed blindly living for me?
I printed this picture out to keep on my desk.
I don't want to forget.
I don't want my heart to grow cold to the reality of this picture.
Millions of children everywhere are without a family.
Millions of children just need one momma to say yes to welcoming them home.
Could you be that one?


I mailed a whole round of paperwork today for travel.
There is so much paperwork
when our little treasure is here it will all be worth it.
Now we are waiting for our I-800 approval from the US.
It should be here in 1-3 weeks.
After that, it is a week to wait for the consulate to move our paperwork toward Article 5.
Then, about 2 weeks for it to be processed.
Then another couple of weeks until Ch*na issues travel approval.
We should be traveling in about 10ish weeks.